Monday, 18 December 2017

Revisiting the gospel according to Timothy.

Written in September and then forgotten...

It's been 16 months since my last wordless post. I'm on holiday, can't sleep and haven't anything to read so I'm out of excuses when it comes to updating this journal.

So, back in May 2016 I basically threw everything that I had onto the car (like a ceramic-coated silencer and some interior panels) before getting a local graphics company to apply a couple of stripes and then dragged the trailer to Stoneleigh where the car was displayed on the Autotune stand. It got lots of interest and featured very prominently in Complete Kit Car's event review. 

While the car looked pretty much finished, there was still tump-loads to do. In the intervening period, the list of outstanding jobs has been dramatically reduced albeit I'm still a little way off completion.

I've had to look back through my photos to work out what I did when. In July and August 2016, I fitted the supports for the tub at the sides, added the swirl pot and started to line the panels near the exhaust with heat resistant cloth.

By December the exhaust was finally bolted-up into position for the last time.

By the end of January, I'd wired-in the main switch panel. I wanted this to be quick release/plug-in as it needs to come out for the side-intrusion bar to be fitted and this fabrication is still outstanding.  The only multiplug with sufficient channels that I could find was an OBD-II socket so that's what I used.  I also had to replace the crank sensor since the wires were damaged on the original.

February saw the completion of a major project in work and a holiday so nothing seems to have moved until March when I sorted out the distribution block for the oil pressure sender. I'd never been happy with the original and found just what I needed in the U.S. so swapped it all out. I've also temporarily fitted an analogue gauge that'll disappear after initial start-up runs etc.

By the end of March, I also found the necessary hwyl to get stuck into the remaining wiring and other electrical items. Both front and rear lamps needed to be wired-in and a number of controls and senders for the dash hadn't been bottomed-out.

Fitting the rear lamps was a significant hassle. Neither mounting the rubber lamp bodies nor the Lucas bullet connectors could be done in the conventional manner but by the end of the first week of August, the rear lamps were all tickety boo and as of a couple of weeks ago, the fronts were sorted too.

I've spent an unhealthy amount of time trying to get rid of the fried-egg look resulting from the LED light clusters behind the front lenses. They aren't absolutely perfect now but I'm happy enough.

Attention is currently on prop-catchers.  Once in place, I can then fit the passenger-side tunnel panels which will also mean that the wiring gets bound-up to pass through to the engine bay.  

In theory, there's no good reason why the car won't start now. I just need to add fluids and find a pal to standby with an extinguisher while I go for it. 

Believe it or not, things will likely slow again now though - a house move and second child are both due between now and mid January.

I would like to be finished by then but time (and money) are not abundant. What's new?

Friday, 6 May 2016

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Sill-y and exhausting

That title minus hyphen could be attached to a couple of aspects of life at present.  I shan't bore you with the pleasures of adverse possession applications or disobedient pastry however.

Instead, let's talk about my new exhaust.  Over the last couple of years I've flirted with a couple of options on exhaust fabrication:Simpson and AB Performance were deemed lovely but too pricey and in the case of AB too distant; Tony Law was also ruled-out on the basis of distance; Interpro and Pro-Speed were ruled-out because they were both a bit 'road car.'  In the end I plumped-for Harvey Robinson in Lampeter - an ex-F1 engineer and a truly splendid chap to deal with.  Harvey was chosen for four reasons.  Firstly he came recommended by a couple of contacts down-West.  Secondly he uses mild steel which is lighter than stainless.  Thirdly he provides a very economical solution. Finally, he said that he could make a silencer in whatever shape I wanted.  My silencer is therefore the same shape as my sill.
There is a slight downside in that the silencer doesn't fill the void that we created for it as Harvey's view was that to go bigger would just add weight.  Once a snazzy access panel is made however (which will let me get to the lambda bosses which is a bonus) it will all look rather excellent.
Harvey bends the pipes by filling them with sand and using heat - no welded together bends here - all very organic-looking.  It's nice to use traditional craftsmanship in my book too.
I'm so pleased with it that I don't want it to rust so tomorrow it's off to Tactical Coatings in Hereford to be ceramic coated.  What's more, the cost of the coating is half what Camcoat charged me on the MNR all those years ago.  It's therefore off the car and in its constituent parts.  
The specification includes two lambda bosses - one for the ECU and one for the rolling road operator, a slice of catalyst in the tailpipe and unusual curves.
So there we have it.  I'll post more pictures when it's back-in-black.

Oh, if anyone wants a MNR manifold for the 4C8 R1 or indeed some fancy machines AB Stainless flanges and collars, drop me a line.


Thursday, 3 March 2016

A couple of to-do's..

Austerity January and February have been and gone. Attention will soon turn to an exhaust.  In the meantime I went to visit the car in storage to measure the steering shaft to order a new bearing (that sleep-inducing post may follow over the weekend) and also to check-out what was causing the worrying metal-on-metal noise when I dragged the car on to the trailer.

The news on that is that the diff and prop flange was contacting the removeable cover at the back of the tunnel.  That doesn't sound like good news but it just means that I need a convex relief section welded-into an aluminium part.  This is significantly better than needing to swap for the rare small Escort diff flange or, worse still, having to cut the tunnel apart.  Actual phew.

Now, whilst having a bit of a nose I spotted two things.  One new thing and one I'd forgotten.  First, the internal bonnet panel is interfering with the ARB.  
This is a doddle to fix.  The second spot (the forgotten issue) is even more straightforward - the steering rack boot on the passenger side needs some zip ties.
Beyond that, I just took a couple of photos to remind me that there really should be a very bright light at the end of this excruciatingly long tunnel.
That's sadly not my motor home.
I really should sort-out a replacement tyre-rack - this one didn't quite clear the car so I had to chop it off,

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Driving(ish) home(ish) for Christmas.

Just before Christmas, following a tump-load of work by Andy Westgate, I collected the Gemini from Westgate Composite's site in Berkshire and dragged it back to Gloucestershire.
Here (above) you can see the scuttle extension/aeroscreen bolted in place and me wearing a decidedly crap jumper - Andy insisted on the "Happy Customer" photograph.
 Nothing new of note here (above or indeed below...)
 But here is the cut-out for the exhaust - part lined with heat-mat.
Oh, and although a 'Phase 2' project, while the car was with Andy we start to think about aero mods:
There now follows a hiatus while I rebuild the coffers a bit and get some domestic stuff done. The bottom-line is, I won't be out at Oulton in April - maybe Silverstone in August is realistic - after all, mechanically the car is 100% unproven.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Spot the differences...

I appreciate that for anyone else (my wife included) these images hardly change. There is progress though.
Back-stays in place. The least said about body symmetry the better I think.
"Baby got back."
Yes, the boot doesn't close; thanks to Mr Newey and his E-type for this one.
The tub has been remodelled around my shoulders. The raw GRP in the interior is now a less raw mid-grey too.
A retro touch.
A happy boy.

Structurally, the rear tub is permenantly fixed in situ and is rock solid (thanks to Andy - it mounts very differently to stock now.) The roll cage is bolted-in, except for three bolts on the driver's side of the front hoop.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Life under the knife...

I'd like to be able to pause to add some sensible prose in relation to the work that Andy Westgate has been doing with such aplomb but I'm just too busy.  Instead here's some more photos with scant explanation.

First, here's some pictures of the 'aeroscreen' - a scuttle extension really.

Next, the clever little panels that will be scalloped around the main roll cage hoop.
The above square is a new part made from a mould taken from the body.  What lies beneath:
Next. the area around my shoulders is part-way through being re-modelled to give me more room.  I'd be lying if I said that I totally understood how this will look.  In Andy we trust:

Finally, my raised boot panel which is an idea unashamedly stolen from Adrian Newey's E-type.

Oh - almost forgot, the car has been seen in TKC Magazine and Complete Kit Car this month - in each case showcasing Mr Westgate's skills.

Andy's work is almost done.  I can't wait to actually do a bit on the car myself this coming weekend.